Joe Kelly is a Hero: Why the Dodgers’ Pitcher Was in the Right
I hate cheaters. I do! They drastically reduce the meaning of a hard-fought championship. That’s why I despise the Houston Astros.
Imagine this: You are a professional athlete who has overcome ALL odds- teachers telling you your whole life that you wouldn’t make it to the Big League, hours on a school bus to tournaments, and you have even risked career-ending injuries- and yet the Houston Astros chose to cheat their way to a 2017 World Series victory against the Dodgers.
This is why I have zero problems with what Dodgers’ relieving pitcher Joe Kelly did Tuesday night.
For the first few innings, it was business as usual for the two teams. Then in the sixth inning, the game blew up.
Facing a 3-0 count against Alex Bregman, one of the main figures in the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal, was met by a 96-mile fastball that zoomed over his head.
Soon after, as Kelly was covering first base, left fielder Michael Brantley and Kelly had a staredown. Suddenly, from the Astros dugout, clear as day, you can hear a player tell the Dodger to go back to his mound and followed it up by calling him a name that no one wants to hear.
Tensions continued to rise.
When Carlos Correa, arguably one of the loudest Astros after the scandal stepped up to the plate, he was met with a breaking ball that almost hit his head. Correa shook it off, but later in at-bat struck out. Joe Kelly responded by yelling to Correa, “Nice swing b****” and mocked him.
And like that, the benches cleared.
In a truly 2020 scene, masked players and coaches from both teams argued and nearly fought. In the background sat an empty stand with piped-in crowd noise.
What Joe Kelly did Tuesday night was right. “Locker room justice” as I call it has worked since the beginning of time. Players have “players-only meetings” to address issues within the team because they are confident that their actions as peers will go further than a team executive dealing justice. Many players in the MLB feel cheated by what the Astros did, and they rightfully deserve to vent their frustrations.an
Even if that is expressed by a 96-mile fastball.
The MLB could decide tomorrow to reprimand Houston and ban them from the playoffs for two years, but that wouldn’t change the fact that there are droves of players who feel like their one chance at a World Series was tarnished by a team that decided to cheat.
That is why what Joe Kelly did is right. He was the first to officially start bringing justice back to the league.
And trust me, this won’t be the last time either.
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